Openness

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Five years of openness

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Over half a decade has passed since our emotional initiation into open adoption.

I still remember every last detail, but I no longer fall to pieces thinking about our journey. Of course I’ll never forget meeting Victor’s birthmom and dad for the first time, our hearts full of hope and fear while, oblivious to our anxiety, the sun sparkled outside the agency window. But for the first time, I can look back and feel a sense of calm and acceptance over the way our adoption unfolded.

Shades of meaning

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

An unexpected question

I thought the most difficult thing my son could ever say to me was “You’re not my real mom,” but the question that really threw me for a loop was something completely different. We were driving to daycare when out of the blue, my brown-skinned, afro-haired, almost five-yearold son said innocently, “Mommy, I was white when I was a baby?”

“Um, what? No! Huh?” Tire screech, deep breath. I figured I had about five seconds to organize my thoughts and say the right thing.

“Why do you say that?”

“Because white skin is beautiful.”

Wow.

Diary of an Adoptive Mom #19

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the nineteenth of our series, our mom of three kids--Emily and her new siblings, Grant and Lynn--wonders why so much information about her childrens’ past is still unavailable, and why she’s listed as Mom on their birth certificates.

The other day I started to think about all my kids’ personal information being completely sealed and stored in some undisclosed location in Victoria. I just don’t understand why we can never access it again. 

Diary of an Adoptive Mom #18

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the eighteenth of our series, we present the, until now, secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids--Emily and her new siblings, Grant and Lynn. This time, mom celebrates the imminent finalization of the children’s adoption, and gains some valuable information.

I can’t believe it! The social worker just phoned and said she is preparing the court package to finalize our adoptions! It feels like we’ve been waiting forever. After the last visit, I wasn’t sure it would ever happen.

Dear birth parents

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A letter from an adoptee

For most of my life, I hadn’t thought about my birth parents: where I came from, who they were, or why they had chosen to give me up. For me, the only thing that mattered was that I had parents who loved me and who chose to be my parents.

When I met my biological father just over three years ago, I was overwhelmed by his reaction to reconnecting with me. He spoke as though he had known me and loved me for my entire life—this “stranger” who hadn’t crossed my mind even once as I had transitioned through childhood and into my adult years.

Finding the connection

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

For one family, connecting their adoptive children with their Indigenous origins has been full of change and full of hope.

As adoptive parents who began our journey with our application to adopt almost 25 years ago, we’ve seen some changes along the way. One of those changes has been regarding the adoption of children of First Nations ancestry into non-First Nations homes.

Unexpected challenges

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

My desire to explore the unexpected led me to talk to two sets of parents about their journeys through adoption and into being a family.

When adopting, these couples experience trials they had never have imagined. Some of the unique hurdles they faced were predictable, while others were completely unexpected.

Reunion in writing

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In her creative non-fiction essay “The Letter,” J. Jill Robinson writes about how she reunited with her birth son,  David. He was married and himself an adoptive father when David and Jill found each other. We sat down with her to find out more about her experience as a birth mother in reunion.

The visits

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Before I got to know both sides of Victor’s birth families, I had a firm opinion about open adoption. I thought it  was the only way to adopt, and it would help our child with his sense of identity and belonging.

Open adoption was better for the birth families, and our lives would be deepened by these new family members. In my cushy fantasy, I’d have a close relationship with the birth mother, and her family would be our family. We’d  snap group photos at graduations, pop corks at weddings, and sniffle as new kids came along for the birth  parents.

Tree of life

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

My son Gabriel has been talking about tattoos since he was about 14 or 15. He has always talked about wanting the tattoos to have some meaning for him, as opposed to just being a picture he likes. His first tattoo, which he got at age 18, was of the Liberty bell. It was representative of where he was born (Philadelphia) and says “circa 1993,” which is his birth year.

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